Grocery store is denying liability for a slip & fall in area where water can be spilled easily by customers w/out warning others

Asked over 2 years ago - Fairfield, CA

I was grocery shopping at Winco when I slipped & fell in the water aisle next to the water dispenser. I was getting a gallon of bottled water from the aisle & proceeded to make my way to the register when I slipped near the water dispenser. I landed with all of my weight on the right side of my body and also a gallon of water in my right hand. I was in shock so I got up & started examining my feet & area around me when I noticed a puddle of water. There wasnt caution signs to warn me to be cautious that water could possibly spill outside of the matted area onto the floor surface. I immediately filed a report and went to the hospital the same day. I was diagnosed with contusions & sprains to the hip, back, shoulder & hand. Do I have a case if the area has a high fall risk for customers

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Lars A. Lundeen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Yes, you may have a claim.You should obtain needed medical care and treatment immediately and follow the doctor's advice. Do not give any statement to the adverse party or insurance company nor grant them access to any medical records. Photograph the injuries and the damage done to any property. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible so that you can protect your rights. You may also find it helpful to review the Legal Guides I have published on Avvo.com dealing with many of the issues you are now facing.

    Legal Disclaimer:

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

    Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

  2. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . It is possible that the store was negligent. You should search Avvo for a personal injury lawyer in your city and call for a free consultation to discuss.

    Click on name or picture to see profile page.
  3. Andrew Daniel Myers

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . The best advice any of us can give on this side of the computer screen is to hire an experienced attorney right away. Slip and fall cases are never 'open and shut' cases. The person injured must show that the owner of the property where the injury occurred either did something they should not have done, or failed to do something that they should have done.

    Personal injury attorneys must develop a theory of liability. For example, on a rainy day if a customer of a store walks in and slips and falls on rain water close to the door, cases have held no liability. However, where an old leaky cooling unit drips water on the floor, managers are aware of the hazard and fail to take reasonable steps to reduce the danger there is a better case. Your case falls somewhere in between and negligence may lie in the store managers' knowledge that water spilled on the floor in the area of the dispenser.

    Slip and fall or trip and fall accidents have other perils. Property owners often argue that if they should have seen and done something about a hazard that caused injury, then the person that was injured should have seen it and avoided it. So, the personal injury attorney must establish that the property owner or manager was in a better position to foresee that there was a peril and that with relatively low cost in relation to the potential danger, could have eliminated the hazard.

    Massachusetts and New Hampshire are the states in which I am a licensed attorney. While the above general summary is relatively universal, the intricacies of law and procedure do in fact vary from state to state.

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